Visit the Grace Darling Museum in Northumberland

Grace Darling Holidays specialises in offering holidays around the beautiful Northumberland coast, and is proud to take its name after local heroine, Grace Darling, who helped rescue survivors of the Forfarshire shipwreck in 1838. Grace Darling Holidays has more than 40 years of experience, putting us ‘top of the tree’ when it comes to creating wonderful holidays in Northumberland.

We pride ourselves on being one of the most respected holiday companies in the North East, and are honoured to share our title with the county’s local heroine, Grace Darling, a woman whose story is truly synonymous with and symbolic of the area. For anyone who is not familiar with the story of Grace, she was a local woman, born in Bamburgh in Northumberland on November 24 1815.

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Grace’s childhood and adulthood was spent helping father William, a local lighthouse keeper, as he carried out his daily duties at two lighthouses, Brownsman and Longstone. To her horror, in the early hours of September 7 1838, Grace noticed a ship – the Steamship Forfarshire – was in danger while she was looking out of one of the windows of the Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands.

After being caught in a terrible storm, the ship hit rocks on the Farnes, splitting the vessel into two, and killing nearly all 60 passengers on board – aside from a number of passengers and members of crew, who managed to escape the perilous wreck.  As daylight crept in, Grace and her father – who had been studying the wreck for signs of life through a telescope – finally saw some movement on the rock where the ship had crashed, at around 7am.

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Aware of the horrific conditions caused by the storm, Grace’s father pondered over whether the sea was too rough for them to consider taking a lifeboat over to the wreckage – but courageous Grace pleaded with him to come with her to try to rescue the survivors.

Rowing out in a coble boat, fighting the overwhelming elements, Grace and her father William worked together as a team to make it to the wreck, with William climbing onto the rocks to examine the survivors – and sadly sometimes the dead – while Grace steadied the coble in the ferocious waters.

Survivors were carried onto the boat one by one, and taken back to Longstone lighthouse where Grace and William tended to the wounded for three days, caring for them until the storm had finally passed.  For her efforts and amazing bravery, Grace went down in history as a local heroine.

She became known as ‘Grace Darling, heroine of the Farne Islands’, with people travelling from afar to catch a glimpse of this wonderful woman, money, gifts and letters being sent to her at Longstone, and painters eager to capture her portrait on canvas. Poems and songs were also penned, all about Grace’s rescue mission.

Sadly, Grace died at the age of just 26, from tuberculosis. But today her wonderful legacy lives on, and she is still very much celebrated. 

Visit the Grace Darling Holiday website to find your perfect holiday home in Northumberland, from cosy cottages and log cabins, to sprawling converted barns, townhouses and listed buildings – many of which also welcome dogs. We’re sure you’ll find your ideal accommodation for your stay. 

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